Adding shortcodes to WordPress using the add_shortcode function

The WordPress add_shortcode function allows developers to create custom shortcodes for use within WordPress content. Shortcodes are essentially placeholders that can be used to insert dynamic content or functionality into posts, pages, and other content types. This can be useful for creating reusable components, such as forms, buttons, or custom functionality, that can be easily added to different parts of a WordPress site without duplicating code.

  • It helps to keep code DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) by allowing developers to encapsulate functionality into a shortcode and then reuse it throughout the site.
  • It provides a way to add custom functionality or content to WordPress without the need to modify theme files or create custom templates.
  • It allows for the separation of concerns by keeping the shortcode logic separate from the content it is being used in.

The add_shortcode function provides a flexible and powerful way to extend the functionality of WordPress and create a more dynamic and customizable user experience.

Parameters Accepted by the WordPress add_shortcode Function

The add_shortcode function in WordPress accepts the following parameters:

  • $tag (string, required): Shortcode tag to be searched in post content.
  • $callback (callable, required): The callback function to run when the shortcode is found.

The function does not return a value.


How to create a simple shortcode

function hello_world_shortcode() {
 return 'Hello, World!';
add_shortcode('hello', 'hello_world_shortcode');

This code creates a simple shortcode hello that will output Hello, World! when used in a post or page.

How to create a shortcode with attributes

function greeting_shortcode($atts) {
 $a = shortcode_atts( array(
 'name' => 'World',
 ), $atts );
 return 'Hello, ' . $a['name'] . '!';
add_shortcode('greet', 'greeting_shortcode');

This code creates a shortcode greet that accepts an attribute name and outputs a personalized greeting. If no name is provided, it defaults to World.

How to use a shortcode within a function

function custom_function_with_shortcode() {
 $content = 'This is a custom function with a [hello] shortcode.';
 return do_shortcode($content);

This code demonstrates how to use a shortcode hello within a custom PHP function custom_function_with_shortcode. The do_shortcode function is used to parse and execute the shortcode within the function’s content.


The add_shortcode function is an useful feature for extending the functionality of WordPress websites. By using this function, developers can easily create custom shortcodes to add dynamic content and functionality to their sites. With the ability to define the callback function and set parameters, the add_shortcode function provides a flexible and customizable way to enhance the user experience. Whether it’s displaying custom content, integrating third-party services, or adding interactive elements, the add_shortcode function is a valuable resource for WordPress developers.

Related WordPress Functions